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Dan Lie’s Solo Exhibition “Dan Lie: 36 Months of Loss” on View Through May 12, 2024, at Art Sonje Center

“Dan Lie: 36 Months of Loss” Installation view ©Art Sonje Center

Art Sonje Center presents the first Korean solo exhibition, “Dan Lie: 36 Months of Loss” by Dan Lie (b. 1988), a Berlin-based artist with an Indonesian-Brazilian background, at The Ground and Hanok on view through May 12.

Lie transforms the museum’s white cube into an ecosystem where organisms cycle through birth, proliferation, and death. To achieve this, they collaborate with “other-than-humans” such as fungi, enzymes, spirits, and ancestors. The artist uses natural materials such as soil, flowers and spores to realize large-scaled installations, revealing specific ecosystems reacting and changing based on the exhibition environment, climate, and biological constitution of installation elements.

The year 2024 marks the third anniversary of the death of Lie’s father. Lie reinterprets the three-year mourning period (samnyeonsang) in Korean funeral rituals, using materials such as sambe (hemp cloth), straw, and onggi (Korean earthenware) to illustrate their own methods of grieving through processes of decomposition, growth, fermentation, and annihilation. As a trans-nonbinary artist, Lie has focused on rotting and fermentation as key themes harboring the potential for transitions that transcend binary oppositions between life and death or humans and non-humans.

When entering The Ground of Art Sonje Center, fabrics dyed yellow with turmeric surround the exhibition hall, and in the middle is the ecosystem created by Lie. The large-scale installation work, which consists of heaps of soil sprouting with buds and mushrooms, hanging structures made of chrysanthemums and sambe, and onggis fermenting yeast, continuously changes form and is placed within the cycle of life and death. Inside the Hanok located in the courtyard, another ecosystem of Lie unfolds. Influenced by the taboo ropes hung to prevent negativity in Korean traditional culture, the artist presents an installation work that descends from the ceiling using straw ropes, chrysanthemums, and onggis. The view can also observe how this work gradually changes over time. Dan Lie explains, this exhibition is presented with “works that exists only at this time and space, and can never be created again.”

Dan Lie, having roots in both Indonesia and Brazil and currently residing in Berlin, is an artist whose work finds its roots in the realms of change and transition. Lie has had solo exhibitions at New Museum, New York, USA (2022); Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany (2022), Casa do Povo, São Paulo, Brazil (2019), etc. Their work has been included in group exhibitions including the 35th São Paulo Biennale, São Paulo, Brazil (2023), The 58th Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, USA (2022) and Geneva Biennale – Sculpture Garden, Geneva, Switzerland (2022).

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